Greetings, lovers of the Zoo.
Greetings aside, if you are expecting the usual, out-of-pocket affair, I hate you break it to you but…
My grandmother passed away this morning. Or maybe last night. Details and facts around her passing are still hazy to me. Frankly, I’m surprised I summoned the cojones to roll out of bed and pen this open post about her passing.
You’re probably wondering why I said that or wondering whether or not I’m just not aware of my grieving. I am aware of my grieving. In fact, I am hyper aware of my grieving. I just have a problem with said grieving and here’s why:
I never met my grandmother.
So naturally, instead of jumping head-first into the grieving process, I’m inclined to ask myself why I feel so strongly for someone I never met. This latter question has been an occurring one, especially in a week where we lost Robin Williams this time last year.
I remember his passing and being so wrecked by it and hearing assholes shoot off their obtuse ass mouths and be like:
“Lex, you didn’t even know him. Why are you sad? I don’t get it????? Omg!!!”
Look, asshole. His accomplishments and his influence on the world around him aside, his passing showed me that, above all, I am an empath, even when being so doesn’t serve my cause whatsoever. I may not have personally known him or his life, but I 100% relate to and empathize with his struggle with depression in a world that tells you to get over it.
I relate with his struggle with depression in world that tells you it could be worse.
I relate with his struggle with depression in a world that tells you that it is all in your head.
And above all that, I relate to the almost instinctual need to hold your humor, your wit, and your sarcasm up as a sword against the darkness. Against the sadness. Against the depression.
I am funny because I am f*cked up.
And that is something that I am still coming to terms with.
So, if I logically bring these empathetic feelings back toward myself, I start to understand why I’m so upset in the first place. There are a lot of things I’ll never know about my grandmother or things that I’ll have to rely on secondhand stories for. I will never know—truly—what an amazing person she was. And greater still, I will always wonder if I could have taken just one day out of my busy ass college schedule to travel across all land and sea just to meet the woman who raised my mother.
I mourn over the fact that I will never get to meet her.
I mourn for my mother who hadn’t seen her in years.
I mourn for all the knowledge, experience, and joy that she will never be able to impart on me.And because I’m all out of intelligible and eloquent things to say about this subject without spiraling into a pit of despair where ice cream, Coldplay’s Fix You, Alicia Keys’ Tell You Something, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s See You Again, and Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment’s Pass The Vibes await me, I leave you all with a poem I addressed to my grandmother:
I Hope You Lived
I hope you were proud of me,
I hope you were proud of the person I had become.
I hope you would have loved me like no other,
When it was all said and done.
I hope you would have looked at me kindly,
Despite where I’ve been.
I hope you wouldn’t have dismissed my pain and rebellion
As wickedness and sin.
I wonder if you were funny,
Or witty or crass.
Because to raise my mother,
You had to be more than brash.
I wonder what made you angry.
I wonder what made you tick.
I wonder what made you sad.
I wonder what made you sick.
Were you as loud as I am?
What did you like?
What was your favorite memory?
What did your laugh sound like?
Did you have any hopes?
Any fears, any dreams?
Or was your life lived without restriction?
With your essence bursting through its seams?
What was my mom like when she was little?
Am I her spitting image?
I’d say that my biggest regret,
Is not being able to look upon your visage.
I know your beginnings were hard.
I know things were tough and not easy
But I hope the ending was worth it
I hope you slept sound and sweetly.
I hope you lived the life you wanted.
I hope you lived a life proud.
I hope you lived and lived again.
And I hope you didn’t let anyone bring you down.
I hope you lived a full life.
A life full.
A life free.
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